by Teviah Moro, The Hamilton Spectator
City councillors have backed Hamilton’s transportation master plan after years in the making.
That endorsement was delayed in June when city politicians asked staff to provide more details about costs and funding for individual projects.
“I think we have something very in-depth and I believe very workable,” Coun. Jason Farr said Monday.
Staff have “prioritized” about $110-million worth of “growth roads” in the city’s 10-year financial plan, a city updated noted. That includes 16 projects.
Eighteen other projects have been identified in a development charges background study, but not included in the 10-year financial plan.
The overall transportation blueprint includes 23 projects from the cycling master plan, which are to be completed by 2020 and funded through the capital budget and provincial sources.
Coun. Terry Whitehead expressed concern about a lack of sidewalks in some neighbourhoods in his Mountain ward.
“We’re not getting closer to closing that gap,” Whitehead said about the need to “urbanize” changing rural areas.
Brian Hollingworth, director of transportation planning and parking, said staff are aware of the gap. “To some extent, it does come down to a budgeting issue.”
Coun. Judi Partridge voiced her frustration over a long-delayed provincial effort to build a bypass in Waterdown, which is increasingly clogged with heavy traffic. “It’s absolutely dire. The residents have just been put under so much stress.
Development in Waterdown has boomed in recent years, adding to the traffic woes.
Coun. Matthew Green said he plans to float a motion at Friday’s council meeting to convert Sherman Avenue into a two-way street between Burlington and Cannon streets. Green and others have argued Sherman Avenue shouldn’t be a route for heavy trucks.
Council must give final approval for the master plan, which is meant to guide policy until at least 2031.